If you have a great food product or know someone who does, I suggest you head over to Breaking Retail and get clear on how to take that recipe from the kitchen onto retail shelves.
Breaking Retail is for people like you and me who have an amazing product but don’t know the first place to start when it comes to making it “ready for retail.”
I spent 5 years and $10,000 making mistakes and now I can save you the time, money, and heartache. We have lots of fun with this topic and there will always be something new to discover. Head on over and check it out.
Soccer practice is firing up again today and that triggered some pondering: Why don’t companies use Sweepers? Sweepers act as floating defenders (typically) who’s job description is defined more loosely
than say a “left back.” These folks are typically very physically and mentally fit, tough, and can cover a lot of ground quickly. The coach trusts the sweeper’s instincts and gives a lot of leeway to think independently.
The “job description” is to kick butt, pick up the pieces where things have fallen through the cracks, and win. Failure happens but it’s part of the game.
Sweepers aren’t afraid to put on a hard foul and occasionally take a yellow card for the team. Most of all, the grit and determination of sweepers earn respect and people follow their lead.
The Italians actually call this position “Libero” or “Free.” Free to make an impact where needed. Free to make ad hoc decisions.
The use of sweepers in soccer has largely wained since the early 90′s. Maybe it’s time for a resurgence of the sweeper – in your company. Does this sound attractive?
POSITION TITLE: Company Sweeper (Janitorial Department) Reports to CEO.
- Critical independent thinker who can adapt to constant change.
- Can develop game plans on the fly and “without a play book.”
- Leads others to victory, dislikes defeat but knows that every champion takes some knocks along the way.
- During non-game days, creates innovative ways to get the best from fellow teammates.
- Can identify areas in the field or plays developing ahead of most others and works quickly to close gaps or exploit opportunity.
- Can see the playing field with a 6th sense not commonly found in others.
- Works hard to master the game and comes in every day with purpose.
- Is accountable to everyone in the team and team management without being told.
I think companies should consider these odds breeds who can make plays, score goals, and who don’t back down.
I’ve had some amazingly frank conversations with leaders lately. What has really stood out is that so many feel as though they’re living among a group of employees who’ve been infected with the Zombie Virus. Mind you these employees aren’t eating brains yet. They’re just infected and starting to show the signs (apathy, waiting around to be told what to do, etc.)
When I ask, “Have you considered hiring a highly independent zombie slayer who can clear your team of walkers – and maybe even deliver an antidote to those worth saving?” I’m typically told, “Yeah, I’m just so buried right now I just can’t take that on.” New Living Translation: Don’t Bother Me – I’m busy dying.
Of course there are all sorts of excuses why leaders don’t hire crazy people to come in and get things moving and to change the course from a race to the bottom to amazingly branded experience. So when you catch yourself saying you’re too busy to tackle the fundamental future of your business – throw away all of job descriptions and stop looking for compliant batteries to plug into your matrix – and go hire a zombie hunter.
There are quite a few zombie hunters on the job market. Here’s what you need to know about them:
- They don’t need much guidance because they’re creative, driven, and motivated by the challenge.
- They like money, but like most other highly successful people, they love autonomy, mastery, and purpose before it.
- They tend to ask questions that make people uncomfortable. (Remember when you believed that discomfort was the precursor to breakthrough and growth?)
- They don’t need 3 page job descriptions because they invent their own accountability by publicly creating meaningful work and delivering the results to the organization.
- They’re not afraid to fail because failure is confirmation that they’re one step closer to a great solution.
- They love experimentation and believe that people should be hired for their ability to think critically – not for their compliance.
- They love the challenge of parachuting into the unknown and creating something from nothing.
- They often have broad sets of skills honed by years of exploration of new technologies and tools because of an insatiable appetite to learn new things.
- They read a lot and view investment in themselves as antidote to zombie virus outbreak.
- They are not afraid to say, “I don’t know” and are willing to volunteer “But I’m ready to figure it out.”
As more and more of the uninfected living become zombie hunters – they will stop applying for positions as batteries in the machine. When there is no power the machine will shut down. When the machine shuts down and all that’s left are zombies looking for brains – consider a vacation somewhere in the hills. I hear the Georgia countryside is beautiful this time of year.
I have launched a new retail concept store in Clive at 2035 100th St. called Scale Faster. Scale Faster is now our home base for delivering managed services and cloud computing in the Des Moines metro.
The space is 100% geared toward creative problem solving and it’s available to the public. We are taking bold steps to deliver results to our customers (more on that soon) and this space is most definitely a catalyst for that. We know you’re gonna love this space. Come by if you can or schedule some time to use the Scale Faster Studio yourself.
How do Andy Brudtkuhl and I spend a Saturday? Maybe it’s a little nerdy but we built what will become the number one party rental tool for busy moms and corporate event planners in Des Moines.
The site is in its alpha version but will continue to get improvements and iterations as more value is created. Even though the site was built rapidly…the vendor relationships we’ve built have taken years to mature.
Check it out and spread the word on Facebook. If you use the service, you’ll get additional discounts when you share it socially! Go for it and thanks.
I didn’t realize that when I signed on to lead a small Managed IT Services Provider called PC Central, that the cloud had really come of age in the small business world. Every business owner or professional I speak with tells me why having things accessible and synchronized across all their workplaces is critical Some even mention back up and the lack of IT hassles as key benefits. I’m having conversations and taking note as our talk moves from how this benefits others to how this benefits them.
After my first month, it seems that anyone who works in multiple locations and requires smart phone ubiquity and who needs to move beyond Google really appreciates what we’re doing and are joining us. Our goal is to become the first name in small business cloud computing (or you can say desktop virtualization of course). We don’t care what you call it because for business owners – it’s simple pain relief.
- Cloud Computing Helps Small Business Compete & Thrive (esbjournal.com)
I’m in Clearwater, FL speaking to about 300 Roofing Contractors at the Best of Success conference. I gave a new talk called “Wear your WHY” that focuses on the rapid change in job seeker behavior that have especially hurt skilled trades companies – and how to overcome them to build a talent bench.
But my big aha moment came when I asked the room, “How many of you have an Apple product on you right now?” (I was borrowing Apple’s powerful WHY – thank you Simon Sinek. 95% of the hands raised up. Next I asked, of those who didn’t raise your hand, how many of you have an Apple product at home? How many have multiple Apple products? It got stronger and stronger. Unreal. iPads are becoming standard issue (bye bye laptops).
The next time you think that businesses that use their hands are “less tech savvy” – stop – and go buy some Apple stock.
Just about every company has a website. Most if not all have a “contact us” page where most often, an email address is linked. My first choice when reaching out to someone new is email. Call it a test of hungriness for my business or simply a quick check to see who’s serious about actually communicating in the way their customers choose.
I recently found 5 local companies that have a service I wanted to procure. I emailed all 5 and explained my situation. “I’m leaving town in 4 days, I’d like to get this done before I leave, I’m very flexible, please respond with price or further questions.”
I received one response…one…within 6 hours. The rest trickled in over 2-4 days (obviously too late to perform before I left on vacation) One response JUST arrived about 4 weeks now after my initial contact. “Oh sorry are you still interested?”
The company that responded rapidly, continued the conversation via email, and was incredibly eager and friendly got the business. This is repeat business by the way so the other firms actually lost far more than one deal.
I bought my house with the agent I did because he responded rapidly and got that I was an “email first” communicator vs. phone, etc. I had 25 agents lined up to take the money on the deal and be my best friend…if only I communicate their way – on their schedule.
If you’re going to put an email communication or form on your website, understand that the expected response time these days is at most 24 hours. I’d suggest that most people expect response within 4 hours. Don’t put your email address on the site if you just “prefer to do business by phone and check that yahoo address every now and again.” For the love of email…
More gracious words from DO’ers who are making an impact in the world. Thank you Adam and Zane. You both have given me opportunities to stand on the mountain top with a bull horn.
I would appreciate speaking to your group too. My book is a great way to get to know me since everyone tells me “they feel like they’ve met me after reading it.” I will give you a free copy if you’re considering me for your event or group. Thank you!
“Doug has spoken at several events I’ve coordinated over the past 5 years. I consistently get great feedback and he always has updated and relevant content. His presentations are extremely engaging and always leave the audience wanting more.” – Adam Steen, President, 25Connections
“Good marketers write bold promises. Great marketers deliver those promises. Repeatedly. Consistently. And, best of all, on a cash-flow positive, sustainable basis. Doug’s book, The Multithread Marketer, is an excellent, readable, doable manual for becoming a great marketer. Whether you are a startup, a long-running business with employees and manuals and departments and meetings, a personal brand or all of these combined, you can be a great marketer if you follow the advice and tips and resources Doug lays out in The Multithread Marketer. Buy it. Be great.” – Zane Safrit – ZaneSafritRadio.com
- Business Record Write Up on MultiThread Marketer (douglasemitchell.com)
I put out the call for “Multimedia Marketing Interns” about 7 months ago. My job description was very clear and indicated that the modern marketing world is one of creative destruction and disruption on a daily basis. The skill set and mentality I believe is absolutely necessary for success is what I developed in my book, “The MultiThread Marketer“.
From that first round of recruiting, I found 3 amazing team members who joined me.
- One is now a full-time marketing rock star in the company.
- One is working at the Disney Institute.
- And one was reassigned to a different group where she could expand her HR skills.(Double major in marketing and HR) She’s become a valuable cross-trained addition to our full-time staff this summer and will return to part-time as she finishes her Senior year.
I’ve worked with each team member to stress the importance of thinking like a MultiThreader and that building a personal brand is absolutely KEY in today’s economy (and forever more I believe).
Here’s what they had to say about my approach.
“Whether you’re in year one or done, Doug Mitchell has plenty to teach you about the power of building your own personal brand and leveraging your network especially in this fierce job market. Doug is an inspirational speaker and has helped me to personally overcome the resistance and begin to put my own ideas into action. Stop thinking and start doing.”
Do you hear recent graduates talking like that? I do. Every day.
“My 3 months as an intern with Doug were critical in pushing me over top of over 300 candidates for my marketing position with the Disney Institute”
That feels pretty good. It seems that exposing college students to the modern realities of rapid execution and technologies made a dent in the universe.
The bottom line is that I’m not merely extracting value from employees for a price (unfortunately the way the world mostly works), I’m investing in my team personally. I’m building them up and giving them every opportunity to build a personal brand. It’s my job to create an environment where they want to continue working with me at this firm vs. go elsewhere. Transparency. Honesty. Big person culture. Go figure.
- Doug Mitchell! What Are You Reading? (zanesafrit.typepad.com)
- How To Market A Business In 125 Pages (douglasemitchell.com)
- Highlights with Doug Mitchell, Author of The MultiThread Marketer (zanesafrit.typepad.com)